Ett litet arkitektkontor
How nice that you're checking out ELAKs website; here, I've summarized a few things that I hope will clarify what I'm up to and passionate about. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts you'd like to share or discuss with me!
My name is Emelie Aktanius and I am an architect and urban planner. Currently I am a teacher in urban planning at Umeå School of Architecture with Ebba Högström. I am also a teacher in a master studio at Umeå School of Architecture, together with Alejandro Haiek, Sara Thor, Johanna Runge, Raffaele Errichiello, Tomas Mena and Luis Pimentel. Our focus is on "Man-Made Geographies: From Planetary To Molecular," a topic that delves into our interconnectedness with the environment. Instead of isolating ourselves as "me/here" from "everything else/there," we embrace the idea that we are part of our surroundings, including all beings and species.
As philosopher Richard Lang noted, just as we need our lungs to breathe, we also need the air and its constituent molecules. Our perception of this interconnection depends on our perspective. From a first-person viewpoint, we're distinctly "here," but zooming out, we discover connections to our family, community, and sometimes even the planet—this is our existence "there." Conversely, when we zoom in, we find ourselves composed of cells, molecules, and eventually empty space, much like the objects around us. Defining "you" at this scale becomes even more complex. These varying perspectives of zooming in and out illustrate our interconnectedness, even from our individual viewpoints.
My educational background in architecture, urban planning, consciousness & the brain, Swedish design & architectural history, environmental psychology & behavior design has deepened my understanding of how the built environment affects us beyond our senses and how our individual experiences collectively shape the environment we share.
In a secular context and within my company, ELAK; Ett Litet ArkitektKontor, I'm constantly working with defining well-being and alternative ways of life, which I now term "Sustainable Wellbeing." This concept is rooted in the intersection of subjective experience, architecture, and urban planning. It emphasizes recognizing that our personal experiences are interconnected with others and the environment, nurturing personal well-being within a holistic sustainable framework. "Sustainable Wellbeing" allows for everyday design solutions that cultivate new sustainable values, habits, and behaviors, fostering greater awareness and a desire for sustainable well-being. As employed by Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious studies at Umeå University I am working in a collaboration with SLU where I tried to contribute with this perspective into their innovative research called "Urban green spaces and urban forests: How are Umeå’s residents going to integrate them as the city grows?" Leading us to develop the research into other topics such as "Exploring Symbiotic and Transdisciplinary Urban Planning: Virtual Reality Insights into Co-Creating Urban Green Spaces for Enhancing Ecological Literacy".
I've analyzed efforts to influence our sensory experiences and cognitive processes within the built environment, and I believe that conscious design can promote sustainable well-being at all scales—benefiting individuals, society, and planet. In my company, I've collaborated with Balticgruppen and Change the Game in a workshop focused on this endeavor. Additionally, you may have seen me in NEST's live podcast, where Balticgruppen and the city architect and I discuss the future of commerce and meeting spaces.